The incredible weather, year-round growing season, and a mild temperate climate which makes Tallahassee such a desirable place to live… also makes for a great habitat for algae mildew, molds and other biological growths to flourish on your homes exterior! Typically we will call this growth the “biofilm”, since it’s very hard to pinpoint it just to one type of biological material. The bad news is it’s eating away at your homes exterior. The good news is, it can be removed by a qualified professional!
Most exterior surface manufacturers including paint, vinyl, wood, Hardee board, Trex decking and more all recommend a gentle soft wash cleaning process. A Softwash process involves an application of a mild detergent and bleach solution applied at pressures lower then typical pressure washing machines provide. Manufacturers have realized that excessive pressure can cause damage to exterior surfaces Including scarring of wood, fogging of windows and removal of paint. For example, two of the nations largest vinyl siding manufacturers Georgia Pacific and Certainteed recommend cleaning their siding at only 1500psi. Considering the average consumer grade machine from a big box store can generate upwards of 4200 psi, it’s not hard to realize that extreme damage can be caused by traditional pressure washing methods. Over the past few years we’ve seen more and more manufacturers take a more discriminating look towards the work that has been performed on properties. They have started to call into question the processes and methods used by both homeowners and contractors alike. If there’s evidence of damage from high pressure washing, the manufacturers warranty may be voided!
This damage caused by high pressure washing is part of the reason the term “Softwash” has come into existence. However, manufacturers have been keen to prescribe very exacting ratios of detergent, bleach, and other chemicals at which their products need to be cleaned. Cleaning is certainly not “one size fits all”, It is imperative that your cleaning company is familiar with the various manufacturers specifications, Otherwise, just as with high pressure, damage can occur to both the property and landscaping. Qualified cleaning companies will understand proper ratios to mix any cleaning detergents, apply judiciously, and will provide extreme care to the landscaping, electrical elements, and personal property at the home.
Most surfaces, whether new or old, will benefit nicely from a gentle Softwash. Sherwin-Williams, Behr , Porter paints, and most other paint manufacturers recommend an annual softwash cleaning to remove the biofilm to extend the life of your painted areas. If left unchecked the growth will begin to eat away at the surface and ruin the finish. Most of the orgasims in the “biofilm” are decomposers and they’re just do their job as Nature intended. We love doing our job too…which is making your properties look great again!
Ray and Tonya Burke are the owners of Spray Wash Exterior Cleaning in Tallahassee, Florida since 2009. When not cleaning Tallahassee and the surrounding areas, they are typically attending conferences and teaching proper cleaning methods to industry members.
Spray Wash Exterior Cleaning, llc
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